Before we dig in:
A lot of people are amusingly partisan in their thinking.
In other words:
If you are someone taken to blaming “Republicans!” or “Democrats!” for whatever you’re emoting about when you read the papers, I recommend you shut off your emotions for the next few minutes and take in the lessons you can learn from the following presidents.
Presidents who, I believe, are amongst the most persuasive in American history.
Obviously, this not an exhaustive list.
But, love, hate, like, or despise these guys, they all had incredibly powerful persuasion attributes that’ll make you more sales from your emails and other marketing/selling endeavors.
Anyway, here goes:
GEORGE WASHINGTON — The General showed zero neediness. And it’s because he had a Mission he pursued relentlessly, against all odds, and even at great personal risk to his fortune and life. A marketer who has a Mission, and passionately pursues it, is automatically more persuasive.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN — I’m not a big fan of Lincoln, personally. In fact, I would argue he was the worst tyrant in American history (and it still amuses me when people think he was some sort of 19th century super-SJW on a Mission to free slaves or whatever, which is simply not the case at all). But, despite all that, I have to admire his ability to have pulled off all his tyranny and still have statues, cherry-picked quotes, history text books, and even his face engraved on Mount Rushmore.
That took some serious persuasion skills.
And, if I had a top hat, I would tip it to that part (and that only) about him.
TEDDY ROOSEVELT — His sheer brass balls simply inspire loyalty, making him far more persuasive than the average man. His story is a doozy too — how he was a weak, skinny, sickly man, went to live in the forest, and came back Superman. It’s the essence of any good sales letter story and worthy of study.
FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT — Not a big fan of FDR, either, or his imprisoning Americans with Japanese blood or allowing Pearl Harbor to be attacked (which I believe the evidence supports, but be that as it may). Whatever the case, he is a perfect example of someone who understood how, if you don’t have what you need to make the sale, you go out and get it. i.e. packing the courts to get his agenda across.
Marketers can do the same thing:
Make it better. (Or tell the client how to make it better.)
Find (or create) bonuses and incentives to make your offer appealing and so legitimately valuable people buy just for those alone.
Pack your offers like he packed the court to get what you want and you’ll win.
JOHN F. KENNEDY — I can’t help but think he’d have made a great social media marketer. Not only did he have the looks and charisma (many political scientists agree had his debate with Nixon not have been televised, he would have lost)… but he oozed inspiration with his big ideas and goals.
Attributes that will make any marketer more persuasive.
RONALD REAGAN — Despite his gaffes, bumbling, and misspeaking, he was known at the Great Communicator. Why? Because he could relate to the people (his market) better than depressing and weak Jimmy Carter or stuffy and unappealing Walter Mondale.
But, his greatest persuasion tool?
Being un-okay is an extremely powerful tool of persuasion. And if you aren’t using it in your emails and sales copy (and other marketing) I suspect you are leaving a lot of sales and response on the table.
BILL CLINTON — I have no trouble believing what his biographers (and even enemies) say about him always being the most empathetic guy in the room. And empathy can do more for your persuasive abilities than almost anything else can. At the same time, he was also shrewd. Especially in his picking a spouse who had no trouble bullying his enemies (and even women who accused him of rape), using the full force and power of the media and IRS (when one paper was critical of him, it got immediately audited, not unusual in American politics.)
He was also great at rebranding (i.e. “New Democrat.”)
And, he was an underdog story, too.
(If you study how he won the first election.)
And, nothing sells better than an underdog story in sales copy and emails.
BARACK OBAMA — I find him to be way overrated in almost every way. But, he had perfect message-to-market match game in 2008, which made him extremely persuasive (his fundraising ability was especially incredible). And it allowed him to compete and win the 2008 Presidential race when probably most people would have told him he’d be nuts to do so.
He also had two other strong persuasive forces at his back:
1. Timing — America was sick of Bush(s), Democrats wanted a charismatic leader and Republicans were sick of their candidates being establishment stooges.
2. Unique offer — A big complaint back then was young people not wanting another “old white man” (the same people who then voted for Bernie, which amuses me) candidate, and he had the smooth “fill in the blanks with whatever you want his words to say” rhetoric that can also make for profitable sales copy, especially to overly emotional markets.
DONALD TRUMP — Which brings us to the Donald. He ran tight message-to-market match game, too. But, he’s also the master of polarization and at making sure nobody is indifferent to him. He’s hated, loved, mocked, and revered… but never ignored. He also won the election astooge. popular career politician and impossible odds, with the entire media, political establishment, and even his own party actively working against him.
He knows how to make the skeleton dance, he knows how to talk to his market, and he knows how to negotiate, too.
Plus, he practices simplicity:
Anyone who has read his books knows his entire game plan.
I spent a lot of time in the March “Email Players” issue talking about one of the things he does better than anyone else in the American politics. And, in the April issue I talk about something else he does not only better than anyone else in American politics, but better than anyone else period, in my opinion. Something that is both ridiculously persuasive (I do it all the time in my emails, and each time I do, I get sales, but he does it on Twitter), but also takes some balls to pull off (and, you need the right kind of personality to do it).
Anyway, I talk more about it in next month’s Email Players issue.
(On pages 10 and 11 specifically)
But, it goes to the printer soon.
So if you want it, go here to get it while you still can: